On the Way

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
~ Psalm 84:5

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


pray for me or think of me, a weary sinner as i seek to renounce this force of 'self-hatred'. leanne payne calls it one of the 3 great barriers towards finding completeness in Christ. i think she's on to something.
i certainly am often filled with it.
have tried to renounce it other times, thought of christian identity statements, read books etc.
i so want to experience the love of christ in my life and heart!
at times, i sense it some and am grateful.

i journaled tonight about some of the past and present sources of this self-hatred, this pernicious, disabling evil. such thoughts often flood my mind, muddying my awareness of God and of others.
it's not the same as narcissism though it can seem like it.

i so want to daily experience the true acceptance of knowing that I am Christ's dearly beloved son. All that is of true of Jesus is true of me but so often this self-hatred and other factors obstruct me from believing it and from experiencing it--when temptation comes, conflict arises, hard tasks are before me, etc.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bible reading program for Shirkers & Slackers

After obsessing which I do yearly over which Bible reading plan if any to adopt for the new year, I had pondered and semi-resolved to do a fairly ambitious plan from my new ESV Study Bible--not as involved as the classic McCheyne plan where you read the NT twice, the Psalms twice and the OT once--but still a weighty, consecutive plan.
After falling behind within the first week while dealing with significant mood swings and struggles, I had a plan 'crisis' and re-thought what I should do if any.
I was drawn back to a plan I first heard of several years ago in the excellent Critique magazine put out my Ransom Fellowship. Margie Haack, the female half of the dynamic team of that blessed ministry recounts her struggle which is a very common one, I bet, of trying to stick with a Bible reading plan especially in getting through the 'boring parts' as we deal with the often hectic pace of modern life.
This plan has merits. It also has weight as you'll see. It will take you through the entire Bible at your own pace by having you read 7 different parts of Scripture during the week---one different section per day--so if you miss a day, you can always come back and read it next week or read it at your leisure. She herself got through the Bible in a year and a half.
Here's the link:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Your love is Strong lyrics ~ Jon Foreman

This song has nourished my spirit lately. I like how he interweaves the Lord's prayer and a sentiment from Psalm 62. I cry from joy, sorrow, anxiety as well as from eager anticipation for the reign of God to be more fully established among us:

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let Your kingdom come in my world
And in my life

Give me the food I need
To live through today
Forgive me as I forgive
The people that wrong me

Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place

I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need!

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town

The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong
Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

Our God in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy name
Above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us, today, our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

Thursday, January 15, 2009

...but the water keeps on falling from my eyes

the cure for pain---yes, friend or two, another jon foreman lyric.
i don't have the energy to blog much (at least not anything of any real substance)--but i am doing some journaling and that can be therapeutic.

I'm not sure why it always flows downhill
Why broken cisterns never could stay filled
I've spent ten years singing gravity away
But the water keeps on falling from the sky

And here tonight while the stars are blacking out
With every hope and dream I've ever had in doubt
I've spent ten years trying to sing these doubts away
But the water keeps on falling from my eyes

And heaven knows... heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord! to suffer like you do...
It would be a lie to run away

So blood is fire pulsing through our veins
We're either riders or fools behind the reigns
I've spent 10 years trying to sing it all away
but the water keeps on falling from my tries

resurrect me

another jon foreman song---i like this guy:

It takes a long time to kill a man
Fifty-five years at least
Until he breaks down
Starts to look underground
And go off and get him some peace

I want to die a lot quicker than that
If it's my only way out
I've been counting up the cost
Getting up on that cross
Wanna know what this is all about

Father time
Steals our days
Like a thief
There's no Price
That I wouldn't pay
To get some relief
I've become
The empy shell
Of a man I like so well
I am a living, breathing hell
Come on and resurrect me

I tried to drown the pain with a friend of mine
It didn't seem to help
Oh, she's got a pretty face with a wedding lace
But I'm still waking up with myself

I know what it means to choke it down
Driving 'til your legs get weak
I know what it's like on a Saturday night
To be alone in a crowded street

Father time
Steals our days
Like a thief
There's no Price
That I haven't paid
To get some relief
I've become
The shell of a man
I can't begin to even understand
Have I forgotten who I am?
Come on and resurrect me
Resurrect me
Resurrect me
Resurrect me
Resurrect me
Resurrect me
Come on and resurrect me
[ Resurrect Me Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

blog theme verse

Since I'm up (for some reason, my blog is showing me on Pacific Standard time now?),
I want to post one theme verse I have in mind for the title of my blog.
It's taken from 1 Peter chapter 1 in the New Testament:
1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

I like Peter's benediction here in this last phrase. I cannot say it any better. And this is my wish or longing for all my friends and family members as well as myself, a 'redeemed sinner' living in exile. For in one sense as the old hymn put it: "this world is not my home, i'm just a passing through..."
I think of the old Petra song--"We are strangers, we are aliens, we are not of this world". It's my prayer for myself and others that we would be "joyful exiles" that lovely phrase from the venerable James Houston in his recent book.

Grace and peace to you

Monday, January 5, 2009

quote from luther as we begin the new year

I've found this to be a helpful one to which I've returned again and again as I seek to grow in the Christian life: deal with sin, mature in righteousness, etc.
I can't remember which book I first saw this in.

"This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road."
Martin Luther

verse for the new year? or at least for this week.

This was in today's reading from a daily devotional booklet I use from time to time:

He who restrains his lips is wise
~Proverbs 10:19

I might have avoided many scrapes over the year if I'd have more consistently followed such counsel. But my time is not over yet...

The War of Wordsby Paul Tripp is a very helpful, convicting book on this general topic. I watched much of the video series in a 'marriage enrichment' group a year ago.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

psalm 139 prayer from CCP

who created and fashioned us,
who knows us and searches us out,
who abides with us through light and dark:
help us to know your presence in this life
and, in the life to come, still to be with you;
where you are alive and reign,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

psalm 3 ~ my glory and the lifter up of my head

I'm reading through the Bible this year (at least that's the plan) using the ESV Study Bible plan since I recently bought this precious resource. Here's today's Psalm:
3:1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God. Selah [1]

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah

I'm struck by that phrase in v. 3- about the Lord being "my glory and the lifter of my head". When I'm feeling downcast which I happen to feel today, it's important to know at some level, that I do not have to lift up my own head on my head but can cry out to the Lord to do this for me. He may and has used others to aid in this task.

I cry out to the Lord today in my brokenness and in my sin.

Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

This was likely not written or prayed by Francis himself but very much partakes of his spirit. See this helpful website for more info:

how to fight loneliness

from wilco- summerteeth

How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth til meaningless
Sharpen them with lies
And whatevers going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight loneliness
You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
Fill your heart with smoke
And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That's how you fight it
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time


Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.

this can be a particularly alluring sin for the exile.